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drama idiocy misandry misogyny rape rapey scott adams white knights

Scott Adams: Self-proclaimed Misunderstood Genius, Part XVIII

Scott Adams contemplates his favorite subject (artist's conception)

Oy. Scott Adams won’t shut up about that execrable “Pegs and Hoies” piece of his that I (and quite a few other people on the internets) wrote about the other day. Naturally, he’s being willfully obtuse about the reaction his piece caused, and blames it all on the “low reading comprehension” of everyone in the world who is not him and/or one of his sycophantic fans. So he’s decided to interview a number of those who wrote about it. (Not including me. Aww, Scott, but we had such good times together!)

So far he’s interviewed Mary Elizabeth Williams of Salon (a great writer and lovely person, by the way) and Irin Carmon of Jezebel. Naturally, the interviewees offer cogent explanations of just what was wrong with his idiotic post, and he responds by completely and utterly missing the point. (Or pretending to; it’s always hard to tell with Scott.)

Scott Adams is so relentlessly irritating – he’s a bit like Eoghan in his stubborn refusal to get the point – that I can’t bring myself to write any more about this idiotic manufactured controversy.  So you’ll have to go check out the posts yourself.

EDITED TO ADD: Adams has put up yet another post on the  subject, entitled “Maybe it’s me?” in which he decides ” to take a step back and seriously consider the hypothesis that the reason people disagree with me is that I’m an idiot and I don’t realize it.” Scott, your hypothesis is correct.

EDITED TO ADD AGAIN: And … Mr. Adams has now made a personal appearance in the comments below. Be gentle!

Given Adams’ intense narcissism, I can’t help but get the song “Biggest Fan” by the Martini Brothers stuck in my head every time I read any of this posts. Listen a bit, and you’ll see why.

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Plymouth
Plymouth
10 years ago

Bee – But even among friends, lovers, spouses, relatives, and other acquaintances, it can be about something other than sex.

Definitely and I didn’t intend to imply otherwise. Sorry if it came across that way.

Lyn – I think there’s a lot to that. But I guess what I’m saying is that replacing the narrative “rape is about sex” with the narrative “rape is not about sex – it is about power” is still pretty damaging. Because I think it makes it harder for people who commit date-rape to recognize that it is also rape.

Ami – God, no, you don’t need to apologize. I feel like I should 🙁 I didn’t mean to trigger anyone.

Lyn
Lyn
10 years ago

Sorry, I didn’t mean “rape as different from sex” but was referring to Ami’s argument that it’s important to acknowledge that rape is not entirely motivated by sex…

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

@Fuck MRAs:

Well, thanks for the compliment, I guess. At this point I’m pretty sure you are a reasonable person as well. This kind of thinking just rubs me the wrong way:

“I don’t really care what other people think because I have enough info and facts and brains enough of my own to decide.”

I try to make an effort not to think I have the final say on matters, because ultimately I only have access to a very narrow subset of the world’s knowledge. I don’t deny that there are some things you can be more certain about, even to the point where you don’t really need to address claims to the contrary (since they’ve been disproven already). But to say you have the final answer on something, and don’t need to bother listening to anything to the contrary… irritates me. It smacks of fanaticism.

Ah well. To each their own, ultimately, I guess.

Lyn
Lyn
10 years ago

@ Plymouth – I totally agree. Saying that rape is ONLY about power leads to all sorts of confusion – it justifies juries saying ‘that looks a little bit like romance…can’t be rape then cos rape is about power and violence!’ Besides – how has sex got nothing to do with power in our culture?

Bee
Bee
10 years ago

Also, when you’re talking what rape is “about,” it’s important to realize that there are endless rape scenarios. I’ve been on maybe 70 calls, and one rape never happens in the same way, with the same fact pattern and the same kinds of relationships, as another one. Or, not in my experience. So saying “rape is about sex” or “rape isn’t about sex” or “rape is about –” whatever is pretty unhelpful and unrealistic.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

@Lyn & Bee & Plymouth etc:

I don’t really have much to contribute here, but its really a balancing act. On the one hand, you want to combat the cultural narratives that have sprung up by changing the language. On the other hand, you don’t want to slide into a different but equally spurious black-or-white claim. The problem is that if you seem to waffle at all, some people will take that as a sign that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Confidence sells…

Fuck MRAs
Fuck MRAs
10 years ago

Well I’m not saying that I have final “say” in things, but yes there are some things for which I literally need no more info in order to form my own hard opinion. Equality for people across racial/physical differences is one, the idea that religion is a negative force is another. There are some others

I really don’t think the majority of these would really be all that controversial in a Manboobz type setting but obviously no one person/group/awesome MRA hating blog on the net can agree with everyone all the time.

Bee
Bee
10 years ago

Plymouth: Oh, no need to apologize. It didn’t come across that you were arguing against what I was saying, I just was inspired to add to what you said! I like to type.

Lyn
Lyn
10 years ago

I agree Bee. Also – talking about what rape is “about” is usually referring to what the rape is about for the rapist. I don’t know that I want to take a rapist’s opinion as the last word on anything, even rape – I think many survivors (myself included) experience sexual assault as a specifically sexual attack. To say it is about power or violence kinda takes that out of it…but it’s not the same as being punched in the face.

Lyn
Lyn
10 years ago

Kirbywarp – it’s certainly useful rhetorically when arguing against people who are incredibly invested in the idea that rape is motivated purely by (cis men’s) sexual frustration to simply say “no, rape is about power”. But, as with any one-liner, it’s limited.

(I know you’re arguing in good faith and I’m not trying to jump on you here, but I’m kinda not happy with the implication that what we’re ‘waffling’ here. Letting dumbasses set the terms of the debate also seems counter-productive)

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

@Fuck MRAs:

Alright, well, I guess we can call this a truce (if one was needed). Its not that I necessarily disagree with you, I just don’t want to be caught dismissing evidence simply because it contradicts what I already believe. There are many much more fun reasons for dismissing it. 😛

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

@Lyn:

No, don’t worry, I wasn’t accusing you of waffling. The implication was supposed to be that people who are 100% sure of their position see any arguing or recognition of nuance as waffling, and to those types of people confidence sells. So its not you, its their perception of you.

Plymouth
Plymouth
10 years ago

To some extent it seems like what it’s “about” doesn’t really matter – what it IS is having sex (for broad definitions of sex) with someone who didn’t or can’t consent to that sex.

Whether it’s “about” sex OR power we’re not going to be able to solve it by eliminating either the desire for sex OR the desire for power. People are going to want those things forever.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

@Bee and Lyn that is what I was trying to say (I know that you know that :3 ), what that response is is supposed to fight the dominant narrative… the “battlefield” is unfair, so taking it in a vacuum makes it look like just another extreme when I understand why that argument (which is often ALSO nuanced but in terms of media soundbites often can’t be) is made b/c while it’s not exactly the most ethical argument, this is a real issue with real victims and I think some ppl just want to get something done in the short term rather than getting more done in the long term (this is a big thing in terms of anti-oppression/social services in my exp… that you can’t treat it like a RTS where you can sacrifice for the long term, b/c there are real ppl being sacrificed : and also there are real survivors who hear “rape is about sex” that it wasn’t just that they were at fault, but that it’s almost like they misunderstood what was going on, that they are overreacting about just some unwanted sex) :

the other thing is I think b/c that is the dominant narrative in FEMINIST spaces, we hear it a LOT MORE and thus it seems like it’s the dominant narrative in general :

I do think that a more nuanced narrative would be ideal, and imo, is also something we should be working for, but we also have to acknowledge the narratives that are out there in the media and in society, and all the other issues about rape in reality :

This isn’t me saying “rape is not about sex, it’s all about power and control” is the right thing to say… I mean what soundbite IS!? But I’m saying that it’s a rly complicated issue, and we can’t act like this is in a vacuum : And also explaining why that narrative is used by feminists in public (and sadly, as I said, becoming a meme : one that is said without nuance and explanation)..

Fuck MRAs
Fuck MRAs
10 years ago

“There are many much more fun reasons for dismissing it. :P”

You mean like that it isn’t evidence at all and is instead a pack of lies bigotry? Cause that’s pretty much what the MRAs do… Speaking of which…

How bout them MRAs anyway? Aren’t they a stupid and yet also amusing and yet also terrifying lot? We now return you to your regularly scheduled douchebag bashing…

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

@Fuck MRAs:

Now now, don’t go generalizing about MRAs. Not all of them are amusing.

Victoria von Syrus
Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

@ Bee:

Yeah, I only ever met the guy once, and only ever had that one conversation with him, but it’s stuck with me. He had an amazing amount of compassion that just came so naturally to him.

Another thing I remember him telling me is that homeless people eat a lot of cake. If you walk by a bakery, there are probably some display cakes in the window, so the bakery can show off what they do. But those cakes really can’t be sold, so when the cakes are about to go bad, the bakeries donate them to the local food kitchens. Which is awesome of them, to donate food instead of throwing it out, but it means that cake makes up a pretty big part of a homeless person’s diet, which is a contributing reason to why so many homeless people are overweight. It’s not that they’re lazy, it’s that they’re existing on a diet comprised of a lot of simple sugars and empty calories.

Fuck MRAs
Fuck MRAs
10 years ago

Does anyone know how to disable that awful meebo thing on Scott Adam’s blog? I’ve seen the same thing elsewhere and it’s just terrible. I do a lot of highlighting text as I read, and that thing just jacks it all up.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

@Vicotria von Syrus:

So you’re saying that the phrase “Let them eat cake” was a valid one? *mind blown*

ithiliana
10 years ago

*wild applause for Ami*

**presents her with HUGE bouqet of flowers***

***Calls for ENCORE!***

Victoria von Syrus
Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

On the sex/power thing, I think rape is definitely at an intersection of the two. It’s not just about being so overwhelmingly horny that there’s no other option; but it’s not necessarily about a straight up display of dominance. If it was a straight up display of dominance, then it’d be something like a bar brawl, and that would be it.

There’s a great research paper done by David Lisak and Paul Miller on the question of undetected rapists. They start by observing that anywhere from 16-25% of women will be raped in their lifetime, but 16-25% of men are not in jail. So they studied rapists, and found out some pretty interesting things – like how only about 1 in 12 men are actually rapists. They also found a really weird attitude – some of these men would make assertions like, “Yeah, I held her down until she had sex with me, but I didn’t rape her.”

Here’s a link to the study, it’s pretty interesting (though possibly trigger-y):

http://www.innovations.harvard.edu/cache/documents/1348/134851.pdf

Victoria von Syrus
Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

@ Kirby:

I know! I made a similar comment when he told me. I asked him what homeless people ate, and I was kind of expecting an answer along the lines of “Oh, soup made from whatever was donated that day,” but I did not imagine cake.

Holly Pervocracy
10 years ago

Victoria – Ha ha (well, it’s not really funny), someone I know was homeless for a time and he lived by dumpster-diving behind a pastry shop. They’d throw out big bags of uneaten pastries at the end of each day–more than he could eat, if they hadn’t done anything inconsiderate like put coffee grounds or gross napkins in the same bag.

It gave me a perspective on not only why a homeless person might be overweight, but on being considerate when you throw out your trash! Every time someone thoughtlessly put gross or dangerous things in the old-food bag, he had to hunt somewhere else or go hungry that day.

AbsintheDexterous
10 years ago

Scott Adams’s nonsense is relatively recent

It depends on what you consider “relatively recent”. There was a big kerfuffle a long time ago with…creationism? evolution?…something like that. And he did/said similar stupid things, with the argument being, “Oh, well I’m far superior to you peons”. This was predictable that he was going to be an ass because he’s done it before.

I think it’s sad that there doesn’t come a point where people just say, “To hell with you” and stop taking assholes seriously. There will always be people who start off with a reasonable argument but then somehow veer off into doucheland, and for whatever reason, people will willingly go with them.

Plymouth
Plymouth
10 years ago

There was a whole discussion about this on page 1 of the comments but the comment that finally prompted my response was this one by sarahejones:

And I could concede, I suppose, that for some rapists there is an element of sexual desire. But the decision to rape is born out of a desire to dominate, not to fuck.

So I was being unnecessarily sound-bitey when I put it as “rape is about power not sex” (though I have seen it put in just those words plenty of times). But I do think the above, while being slightly more nuanced, leaves out a lot of date-rape. I’m sure there are some sickos who explicitly look for a girl who isn’t into sex with them and take her out of a date so that she will “owe them” sex and then they take it from her when she refuses and get off on the power trip more than the sex.

But I think there are plenty who take a girl out honestly hoping she will be into sex with them and are so convinced she is that they just won’t take no for an answer. And I don’t think the latter is any less rape, but I do think the desire for sex comes first and that “no” does not automatically trigger some domination response.

I think you all pretty much agree with me on that based on some of the above discussion so I don’t want to harp on it too much, I’m more responding to include the actual context I was replying to and why it bothered me, which I should have just done the first time.

Victoria von Syrus
Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

@ Holly:

I actually try really really hard not to throw out food. I always feel terrible when I do.

Bee
Bee
10 years ago

I HATE that Meebo thing. I went there to try to see if I could figure it out, Fuck MRAs, but no. I could not. It’s fitting that such an annoying man would have such an annoying feature on his blog.

(To be clear, I got rid of the bar at the bottom of the page, but not the one that pops up when you highlight text.)

Anyway, the argument with MaryElizabeth has been updated, with Scott Adams finally running out of Brilliant Genius fuel. Too bad I agree with MaryElizabeth on most points. I have been informed that makes me batshit crazy.

Fuck MRAs
Fuck MRAs
10 years ago

“It’s fitting that such an annoying man would have such an annoying feature on his blog.”

HAH! You can say that again.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

comment image

Okay! Finally got Ozy to work in a way that isn’t impractical for use :3

Victoria von Syrus
Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

@ Ami:

Yaaaay!

Do I get a card? Pweease?

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

Sure! :3

Victoria von Syrus
Victoria von Syrus
10 years ago

*glee*!

Plymouth
Plymouth
10 years ago

I need to go to sleep. I wanted to thank people for responding thoughtfully and fairly to my story and not kicking me out of the club for being a rapist. I didn’t really think that would happen, but I was still nervous. Actually, I got better responses here than to the version I posted in my livejournal – barely anyone responded to it there.

goodnight all!

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

On Topic again,

Has everyone seen Scott’s resolution to his “debate” with Mary Elizabeth? Just after she gets done pointing out all his bullshit, he walks away. And then he makes insinuations about how fairly he was treated in the debate by Mary Elizabeth by linking to an external source not written by her!!! What the hell is he thinking?

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

Here’s the basic background to the MTG set btw (put together thru various IMs w/ friends so I apologize if there are spelling or grammatical/capitalization mistakes)

In the beginning, the White Shaft created man and then woman to give man company. Men and women were created equal but different, and there was a balance. But because of those differences, equality was not always evident to men who excelled at the arts most needed for human survival and advancement: science, invention, warfare, the hunt. Centuries passed and men began to believe they did not need women and began to enslave then, abuse them and the balance was lost. Many women cried out at this injustice and their pleas eventually manifested itself as an entity: The Darknyss, created from their anger, their suffering and their hatred.

Eventually, the Darknyss gained sentience, and with it a twisted understanding of humanity and the world: men were evil and destructive, and women needed to be saved from them. It was with this hateful and destructive motivation, that it lashed out, possessing and infusing women with great power and enhancing their hate and bitterness.

War ensued with horrible abominations and warriors for both sides being created: Alpha Males… Sexbots… Andrea Dworkin… and in the ensuing struggle men realized that they were incomplete without women and women realized that they were incomplete without men. Together, they realized their proper roles, men as protectors, inventors, warriors, women as caretakers, child rearers and lovers, and sealed the Darknyss away. The balance was restored.

A period of prosperity and unparalleled technological and scientific growth ensued, with women in their proper role and men in theirs.. but the Darknyss festered. Despite that the conditions of it’s birth were gone, it’s purpose and dark hatred remained and it slowly extended it’s hate-filled tendrils back into the world, corrupting, manipulating, seducing.

A thousand years pass, until it’s influence is everywhere… and nowhere. Despite, or perhaps because of it’s comfortable complacency, society begins to chafe against its foundations, foundations built by the blood, sweat and tears of noble men and gentle women. Wives turn against husbands, mothers against sons. Famine and sickness begin to sweep the land, creating poverty, frustration, and with it hatred, envy and anger.

Men who would have accepted their failures and worked harder to overcome them begin to feel resentment and bitterness. Some sought out the Darknyss for a short and easy route to power and revenge, others merely allowed themselves to be manipulated by it. Women who used to be content raising a new generation of noble artisans, engineers, physicians, scientists and warriors, became deluded into believing that they could fill such roles. Many turned on their husbands and fathers, blaming them for their plight. Others acted on their unnatural desires and pursued those disciplines fervently, and upon failure to reach those goals, betrayed humankind and pledged their souls and allegiances to the Darknyss.

Sister turned on brother. Queens betrayed Kings. Women lay with women. Men with men. Kingdoms split, and kingdoms fell. Only a brave few remembered the old ways and stood for the White Shaft. Betrayal was rampant. Darknyss reigned… the Second Gender War was about to begin.

Bee
Bee
10 years ago

That’s fucking WONDERFUL. Brava, Ami. I want to play!

Magyc, the Gendering. Finally, something MRAs and feminists can agree on! Even Men Going Their Own Ways will come back to play Magyc, the Gendering! See what all the Pick Up Artists are picking up now — Magyc, the Gendering! So fun, it’ll even make a radfem smile; so easy, even a woman can play — Magyc, the Gendering!

Lessee, what else …

chocominties
chocominties
10 years ago

I had an awkward argument on an asexuality board with a gal who insisted “rape is never about sex.” I just do not believe in absolute statements like that. I’m sure there are situations where someone is so horny and has swallowed that idea of, “an erection is a fatal and yet curable condition” or that all men always want sex. Power and dominance are part of it but may not mentally enter into it. Sometimes a rapist really just doesn’t think he (or rarely she) is a rapist. And in that case, I would say it’s all about sex.

Just my two cents.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

You know, I think I’m gonna start calling it the Dark Chasm xD That or the Darknyss resides IN the Dark Chasm… xD

Pecunium
10 years ago

FuckMRAs: Re the question of credibility. The way you phrased your initial comment rubbed me the wrong way, because you didn’t say it hurt their credibility with you, but just that it hurt their credibility.

I can see the point in not engaging with nitwits. One only has so much energy/focus, and the fools who are beyond persuasion may not be worth your time.

But I agree with Kirby, someone has to address it, otherwise it’s like bias crimes. The lack of condemnation is seen as the support of the silent majority. That feeds on itself, because the people who disagree, but are unwilling to say so, feel they are alone in their disagreement.

I don’t want you to go away. I don’t think you are trolling.

katz
10 years ago

kirby: Are there updates? Link, plz.

Pecunium
10 years ago

Plymouth: Speaking as someone who was in a related position to the one yuo describe (parther who didn’t want to take no for an answer). It seems it was a rape.

Is all rape completely non-sexual? No. And I’d say that a one off, in which the person who committed it realised they’d gone too far and never wanted to do it again was probably as much about the sex as it was about validation/power/not-being rejected (and please believe me when I say I am not attempting to impute any of those motives to you).

I do think there is more to it than just the sex.

When I was a lot younger, and lot less aware of what it was I was doing, my girlfriend wouldn’t take no for an answer. If it had been a one-time thing I’d say it was about the sex. If it had been a sometime thing, I’d say it was about more than just the control.

But it was a constant. If she was in the mood, nothing was going to make her give up on the idea of fucking except fucking. It got to the point I stopped trying to tell her when I wasn’t in the mood.

Very shortly after that we broke up. No, Shortly after it got to that point I broke up with her. She later told me she was planning to break up with me after the Faire started, because she figured I’d be able to find another girlfriend (or at least someone to comfort me) in short order.

We broke up in Feb. The Faire didn’t start until April.

It wasn’t about the sex. 25 years later and I’m still touchy about saying no. It was a problem with one of my partners, because she’d been raped, and I talked to her about it, and then she got the idea that any lack of interest on my part meant she had to stop being interested. That’s not the case. I think in an ongoing relationship there is room for persuasion, discussion. There are times I’m not, “really” in the mood, but I can be, “enough” in the mood.

I am willing to give my partners permission to initiate sexual contact with me when I’m sleeping, with the understanding that I may wake up and be not in the mood; and that’s not a violation of my autonomy.

So yes, I think there can be occasions, where the aggressor is interested, primarily in the sex, but is a special circumstance and subset.

***

Re the guy who wants her to be into him, and can’t believe she isn’t: I think that is about control. It’s about controlling his internal narrative. He’s lying to himself when he thinks she’s that into him, but not have sex would give credence to the lie, and that’s not acceptable.

Is he parsing it out that way? No. But I do think it’s a major part of the motivation. I also don’t think that is what was going on in your case; because you say you felt remorse for it, and you realised what had happened.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

@Katz

The same link that David provided will lead to the end of the discussion. I tried looking at the Salon for her take on the debate, but she hasn’t posted on the close at the moment.

Pecunium
10 years ago

This is some icing on the cake: To the women who are not batshit crazy, and fortunately that is most of you, I apologize for any lack of clarity on my part was deemed offensive. I’m reasonably sure we agree on all of the important stuff.

Yep… if you disagree with him, and are a woman… you are “Batshit crazy,” tossed in with a bit of marginalisation (i.e. most women understand what he really meant.

What a titty-baby.

Fuck MRAs
Fuck MRAs
10 years ago

Pecunium, let me just say that being disagreed with is one thing, being repeatedly called names and things I’m not is quite another. I react much better to the former than to the latter, so thanks for that.

The thing is, I disagree that his insane misogynist and man-hating messages deserve this kind of platform. Is there a line to you? Should Jezebel writers engage the KKK bloggers? Or the bloggers on the sites where people of one religion spend all day shit talking people of another based on a bunch of malarky in old books? Who shouldn’t get this platform, if anyone, in your opinion?

Fuck MRAs
Fuck MRAs
10 years ago

I know 2 men who have been sexually assaulted or raped by women. Both circumstances point to it being about control moreso than sex “per se.”

I’m not overly keen to share the basic outline sketch details, but would if someone had a legit reason for being interested.

Pecunium
10 years ago

Fuck MRAs: If the KKK bloggers are 1: Dealing with issues that affect Jezebel’s interests, 2: are in areas where Jezebel is seen as a voice of some import and 3: are notable enough that they are getting secondary traffic (e.g. HuffPo), then yes, Jezebel should engage them.

If the KKK bloggers are in their own little backwater, being listened by no one but themselves… no. Giving them the benefit of unearned attention is bad. But Adams already had the attention.

At that point it’s a different game, because the audience is already making judgements. Giving Adams the chance to clarify (or apologise) or dig a hole large enough for people who didn’t spend the effort to think through the actual arguments he was making (as opposed to the facile soundbites that look superficially acceptable, even right; esp. as he uses the trope of, “this is PC, but only because no one else is ballsy enough to speak truth to power) a chance to see what the underlying tenets of his conclusions are.

And that…. that’s worth doing.

It’s what Dave does… he just doesn’t have the reputation of being, “meaningful”, but it’s the same paradigm.

Bee
Bee
10 years ago

I don’t have a hard-line stance re. engaging or not engaging idiots, but I will say that when given the chance to engage, Scott Adams does a fine job of marginalizing hisownself.

Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant
10 years ago

Fuck Fuck MRAs.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

Is this like Row Row Row your boat? xD

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
10 years ago

@Fuck MRAs:

Well, here’s your shot. Do you engage an idiot? 😛